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Gather Your Network

AllBright. Sisterhood Works. Susan’s Method, Part One. Creating your own gatherings. Read and take Susan McPherson’s exercise.
AllBright, Sisterhood Works: Susan McPherson, Founder and CEO McPherson Strategies
© AllBright 2020

Download the Interactive worksheet or read below.

Gather Your Network.

Tools : A pen and paper, and yourself.

Time : 20 minutes

Context : Don’t wait to be invited. Create the room that everyone wants to be in. This exercise is going to show you how to gather your network and watch it grow, whilst supporting other women to build their own sisterhood. There is nothing as powerful as your own personal sisterhood and bringing other women up alongside you.

Instructions: Create your own gathering. Remember Susan’s story about her coffee morning when she was working in PR? Starting with three people, it grew month on month until there were 120 women attending. She shared with us how she created her own room rather than waiting for the invitation. This can be you too. Be it online or in real life, you can be the woman to champion igniting more meaningful connections within your network.

Step #1: Uncover your ‘Why’ Why do you want to bring people together? This will be your anchor as you step out into your sisterhood and invite them to come to your first event. Sharing your key intention will be a magnet that allows others to resonate with your event and influence whether they choose to attend it.

Take a moment to reflect and get honest about your intention behind doing so. If it is to meet more people in your industry, that’s great. This is where you start.

Now consider the purpose. Perhaps it’s to allow more women, like you, to make meaningful connections. Maybe it’s to inspire women to share their stories or to connect them to a wider network of more diverse connections to enhance their community. Whatever it is, be clear with yourself first so that you can share this with others easily when you invite them.

Also remember, a ‘meet-up’ doesn’t have to be physical – you could set up a monthly Zoom check-in with women in your industry, or it could even be a WhatsApp group with your peers. Gatherings come in many forms but all share one simple ingredient for success, purpose.

Step #2: Be creative. Imagine your ideal gathering. One where you feel comfortable, relaxed and are engaging in interesting conversation. A place where you feel open to meeting new people and are excited to keep returning month on month. Take time to acknowledge what it is that is helping these feelings unfold. Jot down some notes about the elements of the environment, people and conversation. If you’re attending in person, consider the physical conditions such as lighting and seating arrangements. Aim to define what it is that makes this your ideal gathering.

Action Step: Use this list to start building the elements of your own gathering. Make a note of the core aspects you will now choose to consider as you move forward.

Step #3: Start small, set yourself up to win. Name your event and arrange the practicals. Share the location, time and date with your guests by sending out an invitation to those that you hope might benefit from it. I recommend you start with a select few- Susan started with 3 – and allow yourself to feel comfortable as you step forward and offer this opportunity to your network. Like birthday parties and or any event we put on to mark occasions in our lives, they can make us feel incredibly vulnerable as we wonder if anyone will come. This can breed a lot of anxiety and stress. So trust that this has the potential to grow organically and start with a few women who you know will have a good experience if you invite them. That way, next time they may bring a few friends along and the gathering can grow in an authentic way

Action Step: Write up your guest list, then reach out to invite your first selection of women to your gathering, online or in person. Take a moment to celebrate yourself as you take a step towards hosting your first event.

Pro Tip: Growing your sisterhood is going to take place from consistently showing up through small acts of generosity, consideration and kindness. Set your gathering to be a regular event -perhaps monthly, or whatever works for you and your group- and allow it to grow as the weeks roll by. Create an easy, inclusive way for your initial guests to invite other women that they believe may gain something by attending. Notably, why not put together an enticing incentive that they can share? Send reminders as the event date approaches and put together a thank you email for those that have attended, to make their presence feel seen and heard.

The Result: You’ve successfully put on your own gathering and are actively growing your sisterhood! Allowing yourself to show up at the heart of your network gives back to so many women, who now appreciate you not only as an ally but as a renowned instigator of more meaningful connections.

© AllBright 2020
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Sisterhood Works: How to Build a More Meaningful Network

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